Plans for parenting post separation vary according to the couple’s negotiation and agreement. In order for a parenting plan to be legally binding both parties would need to agree, sign and notarize the document.
A parenting plan can include shared parenting which means both parents living separately having their child(ren) reside in their home half of the calendar year. The year can be divided according to what is in the best interest of the child(ren).
For example, one parent may have the child(ren) half the week. One plan may be agreed that the child(ren) spend the entire week, Sunday to Saturday with mom, then next week with dad.
Another plan, if the parent lives a distance from the child(ren)’s home then the plan would be set up for only the holidays, school breaks and summer vacations.
To reiterate, parenting plans are based on the best interest of the child(ren) and if this remains so, the plan can feasibly be negotiated in a mediation session.
Two separate households can compromise parenting and leave the child(ren) confused or worse. Children who come from divorce already have challenges to face and adjustments to make. Parent coordination will minimize their stress and anxiety. Sometimes the child(ren) can take this opportunity and become more manipulative in which case they gain power and control. Again in the long run this can only serve as a detriment and create negative behaviors.
Both parents need support in this area and acknowledgment for parents to become a united front standing strong as a parental role model. You also want to include both parents to learn how to balance two households and keep the values consistent, such as structure, education, discipline, socialization, among many others. Strong parenting skills are essential especially when the household is divided, blended families may be present and outside influences permeate two homes. Children will regain confidence, feel more secure and have more potential to thrive.